Music has always been a really big part of my life. I think I could argue that it’s been a huge part of everyone’s lives. It is said that the sense of smell can trigger an exact memory, but I argue that listening to music doesn’t just trigger a memory but the emotions associated with that memory. A song can make us feel nostalgic, emotional or even regretful.
But that’s the power of music isn’t it? It’s so dynamic. It can be a shoulder for us when times are hard, it can be an essential catalyst to a party that is a little dull, or it can be used as a symbol to represent the love of two people. What is remarkable is that music has also acted as a reflection of societies’ cultures and norms for thousands of years. The Ancient Egyptians used music and dance to honor their religious beliefs and royalty. In the Renaissance, music was played by minstrels at court to depict the romance of courtly love; the dating norms of the era’s nobility. The spontaneity of jazz music in the Roaring Twenties offered a rebellion to its listeners against the predictable classical pieces played before the turn of the century.
Lately, I have been listening to a lot of music from the nineteen seventies. The era offered such a variety of music genres – disco, rock, rhythm and blues, and funk, just to name a few. In researching some of the Bill Board charts of the 70s, I couldn’t believe how all varieties of music were distributed throughout the charts. In comparison to previous generations, the charts were typically dominated by pop and/or rock music. The music of the seventies reflected the political and social changes of the western world. For example, heavy metal music of the late seventies included tones of rebellion against social conformity. The outcome of the nineteen sixties’ sexual revolution was also apparent in the music of the 70s. New dancing styles and suggestive lyrics were prevalent in many genres of 70s music. The technological advances of the era were also evident in the era’s music due to the increased use of technology and electronic media when recording music. Looking back today, I can’t help but see comparisons between the 70s and the 20s. In the United States particularly, they were both eras that faced an aftermath of political and social change and the trends that followed in both eras included new music, new substances and a party that just didn’t stop.
When heard today, the music of the 70s can trigger many emotions. Of all of the weddings I have been to, nothing can get a crowd on the dance floor more than songs from ABBA, Electric Light Orchestra or KC & The Sunshine Band. For me, listening to the music of the era just brings me to another place. A place where I can space out on my commute to work, or get pumped up for a night of dancing. Because the music is enjoyed by so many generations, it is always my top mix to play when hosting a party or event. I’ve included a list below of some of my favorite sounds of the seventies. I invite you to check out the tunes or consider the mix when planning your next disco-themed party!
The Ultimate Seventies Playlist
I’ll Be There (Jackson 5), Bennie & The Jets (Elton John), September (Earth Wind & Fire), Theme From ‘Shaft’ (Isaac Hayes), I’ll Be Around (Spinners), Superstition (Stevie Wonder), Band On The Run (Paul McCartney & Wings), Sundown (Gordon Lightfoot), Can’t Get Enough of Your Love Babe (Barry White), You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet (Bachman-Turner Overdrive), Best of My Love (The Emotions), Get Down Tonight (KC & The Sunshine Band), Fame (David Bowie), Blinded By The Light (Manfred Mann’s Earth Band), Rich Girl (Hall & Oates), Don’t Leave Me This Way (Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes), I’m Your Boogie Man (KC & The Sunshine Band), Got To Give It Up (Marvin Gaye), Stayin’ Alive (The Bee Gees), Miss You (The Rolling Stones), Le Freak (Chic), I Will Survive (Gloria Gaynor), Off The Wall (Michael Jackson), Get Up Offa That Thing (James Brown), Brick House (Commodores), Don’t Bring Me Down (Electric Light Orchestra)